DT 28559 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28559

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28559

Hints and tips by an uninspired Miffypops

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

MP is a little under the weather today and can’t really be arsed. I hope you enjoyed this puzzle. It was just a job that had to be done for me. Rufus has taken us around the compass today

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Wild parrot, bird of prey (6)
RAPTOR: Anagram (wild) of PARROT

4a    Includes in shows of affection (8)
EMBRACES: A double definition, the second being clinches between couples.

9a    Jack’s posh way appears ridiculous (6)
ABSURD: A four-part charade. Use the abbreviation for an able-bodied seaman (Jack) Add the letter S because the word Jack’s is plural. Now use the letter that goes with the word posh and finally add the abbreviation for a road.

10a    How a sale should be organised, all things considered (2,1,5)
AS A WHOLE: Anagram (organised) of HOW A SALE

12a    Lugs, body parts for hearing (4)
TOWS: a synonym of the word tugs sounds like the extremities at the end of our legs

13a    Use a blade and cut down tree (5)
ROWAN: Use a blade to propel a small boat. Add two thirds (cut down) of the word AND

14a    Pointless search for way through (4)
ARCH: Remove a point of the compass from the word search

17a    Only just obtained freedom? (6,6)
NARROW ESCAPE: A barely successful flight from or avoidance of danger or trouble

20a    Possibly fall in late? Go for punishment (12)
FLAGELLATION: Anagram (possibly) of FALL IN LATE GO

23a    Measure round a highway (4)
ROAD: Place a unit of measurement commonly used for allotments around the letter A from the clue

24a    Clothing once displayed by father in streets (5)
SPATS: Place a shortened endearment for your dear old dad inside an abbreviation for streets. Note the plural

25a    The woman’s love champion (4)
HERO: Begin with a word meaning that woman and add tennis’s love Score

28a    Rife, conceivably, it spreads rapidly (8)
WILDFIRE: This is an unusual construct. The word conceivably is asking us to make an anagram of the word RIFE and the think of a second Anagram indicator which when placed in front of the solved anagram matches the definition in the clue.

29a    A Titan out to win (6)
ATTAIN: Anagram (out) of A TITAN

30a    Think again about ship crossing rough seas (8)
REASSESS: Place an anagram (rough) of SEAS after a two-letter word meaning about and before the abbreviation used for a steamship

31a    A spell of horse-play? (6)
CHUKKA: A seven-and-a-half-minute period of play in a polo match


1d    Model creating response (8)
REACTING: Anagram (model) of CREATING

2d    Secretary’s blade that could open up a computer (8)
PASSWORD: These secretaries are personal assistants. Their abbreviation is followed by a blade An epee or rapier perhaps

3d    It’s yours and mine, of course (4)
OURS: A word meaning yours and mine is hidden (of course) in the clue

5d    What a bad summer will do? (12)
MISCALCULATE: This summer is an adder up of numbers. The answer is what he will do if he is not very good at it (bad)

6d    Disputes in banks (4)
ROWS: A double definition the first meaning arguments

7d    Voices so rich when blended (6)
CHOIRS: Anagram (when blended) of SO RICH

8d    Boil, or the spot on top (6)
SEETHE: Use the word the as a gift from the setter. Place above it a word meaning to spot or espy something

11d    Swiss cantons or American states, maybe? (7,5)
FOREIGN PARTS: Things Swiss or American are not English so are of a country other than one’s own. States or cantons are not the whole country but pieces thereof. I hope this helps

15d    Takes over domestic vessels (5)
BOWLS: Takes over is a cryptic definition of what one does when delivering six balls to a batsman in cricket

16d    Express linking two points (5)
SPEAK: Our first point is one of the compass and our second point is the top of a mountain

18d    Visible record of alternating current’s limits (8)
TIDEMARK: This is a line that appears on a beach which will show the point where the highest tide (alternating current) has reached. Usually you can see the high-water point as it consists almost entirely of plastic.

19d    It means one can’t get off at night (8)
INSOMNIA: The medical term for those who cannot get to sleep at night.

21d    Prize having been put up, one picks the winning ticket (6)
DRAWER: A word meaning prize can be reversed (put up) to change its meaning to be the person who selected the winning ticket from many tickets

22d    Each year, girl makes Spanish dish (6)
PAELLA: Use the abbreviated form of per annum and add a girls name. Miss Fitzgerald perhaps

26d    Amphibians, with short feet going in two directions (4)
EFTS: Place the abbreviated word for the measurement feet inside two more points of the compass to find an alternative name for newts that is only seen in crosswordland

27d    Justification for deciding to scratch (4)
ITCH: The reason we might scratch ourselves.

That is done and out of the way and that will be that for today.


72 comments on “DT 28559

  1. 3*/4*. Great fun as always on a Monday but a few clues took me longer to crack than usual making for a very satisfying solve. 13a was my last one in and joint favourite with 8d. I also awarded ticks to 28a, 7d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and to MP, to whom I wish a speedy return to good health and humour.

  2. Loads to enjoy from Rufus this breezy morning. I enjoyed 12 and 13a but my favourite was the clever 28a. Overall 2*/4*.

    Many thanks to Rufus and the uninspired MP, and good luck to everyone in the path of Ophelia.

  3. I struggled over 16d, 18d and 31a for ages, had a lateral moment to get 31a and 18d and it all came together!

    A good puzzle and quite challenging!

  4. Usual Monday with some good(I thought) word play. Finished in good time ready for a blustery walk on the cliffs. Hatches battened down in North Cornwall, high winds expected.
    Hope MP feels better and thanks to Rufus.

  5. Hi MP – thanks for your review which I desperately needed today! Never going to work after I’d put sine wave for 18d, which at the time I thought was rather clever. Suggest you cheer yourself up with a dose of Bob. Thanks as usual to all associated with this site and to Rufus as always.

    1. It has been live clips from Van Morrison’s recent shows in America. At the moment Levon Helm playing Strange Band. Now he is singing Ophelia

      1. Spooky – googled Levon Helm and first u-tube clip I see is Ophelia by Levon Helm and the Band.

  6. Some fun combined with a bit of drag. A few unusual anagram indicators. Not too keen on 15d, 18d or 27d. Toyed with ears for 12a for a while. No Fav. Thank you Rufus and MP (hope you’l soon shake off whatever ails you – ‘flu jab?!).

  7. Excellent puzzle. Not too challenging – except 13a took me a while to fathom. Lots of good clues. I likes 13a, 18d 31a with 28a being streets ahead of the rest. 1.5*/****

  8. I found it tougher than I should have.
    My favourite was 2d.
    As for Ophelia , it hasn’t arrived yet but it seems the media may have exaggerated the danger , so now the wind speeds are being reported in KM per hour , instead of miles per hour.
    Thanks to Miffypops and Rufus.

      1. My grandson has apparently been singing his Sunshine Song and has told his Daddy that that means they’ll be OK. Not sure whether ex-hurricanes listen to sunshine songs, but anything is worth a go!

          1. I’ll see if I can find out what the words are and you can give it a try next time a hurricane is threatening Florida rather than Northern Ireland

  9. Unlike MP I quite enjoyed this Monday Rufus **/*** 😃 Last In was 13a I was trying to fit oar in somehow and I never thought of “row” 😳 Liked 2a, 15& 18d . Big thanks to MP and Rufus

    1. I never said I didn’t enjoy it. I am feeling lethargic and not up to much, the puzzle was fine. As will I be once I have finished paying out invoices. Prawns Mussels and Crab for dinner. That will liven me up.

  10. I fell hook, line and sinker at 12a. Loved the misdirection. I only corrected it when I worked out 2d. They were my favourite clues. I must start remembering that ‘hearing’ means that a word sounds like something else. It catches me out every time. Sorry you’re not feeling good MP. Get well soon. Thank you for the review and thank you Rufus for a delightful puzzle.

  11. I enjoyed today’s crossword far more than is usual for a Monday.
    I whizzed through quite a lot of it and then ground to a bit of a halt.
    Like Florence I fell for 12a but 1 and 2d sorted that out – Angelov was lucky, only toying with her ears for a while.
    31a and 18d were my last two answers and 11d wasn’t far ahead of them.
    I liked 13 and 24a and my favourite was 27d because it made me laugh – presumably we were meant to think of withdrawing from a competition.
    Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops – hope you feel more cheerful soon. :smile:

  12. I completed this with the help of my daughter who is in Australia. (Thank you What’s App)

    I refer to her as the Gary Linneker of crosswords. I do all the hard work, the toil, the heavy moving and she does the ‘tap ins’ when I can’t see the wood from the trees ( if you see what I mean). Ggrrhh.

    Good fun though .

  13. Another typical Rufus, reasonably straightforward, and completed at a gallop, making a good start to the work week – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 31a, 11d, 19d, and 26d – pick one.

    Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  14. 11d was my last one in – I spent a lot of time trying to work out the wordplay that doesn’t exist – a lovely Rufus cryptic definition!

    Get well soon MP! Thanks to both!

  15. Some difficult cluing today, and a grade above the normal Monday puzzles-all the better for that.
    Failed to parse 16d but had the correct solution-thanks to MP.
    Liked 1a for its simplicity and the surface of 13a, thanks to Rufus for a bright start to the week.
    Going for a ***/**** as well.

  16. As ever, the hardest crossword of the week for me. It followed the usual pattern of 80% going it R&W and then hitting the wall with a large ‘thump’, not helped by putting the homophone in for 12a and getting 13a totally wrong.
    Several that I could not parse, so thank to MP for the hints and Rufus for bringing me back to earth after a run of completed, hintless crosswords.

    1. Good to go through the hints, still not thinking laterally enough, 13a a good example

  17. Thanks to Rufus and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very enjoyable start to the week, quite a few to make you think. Enjoyed the double lurker in 3d, good misdirection in 18a. Lots of smiles along the way. Was beaten by 13a, which was my favourite. Last in was 11d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  18. Needed help with 13a and the first part of 11d . It certainly was trickier than the usual Monday puzzle. 31a appealed to me the most

  19. Had a couple of issues with this one in that both 17a&1d didn’t seem to be quite right. I thought that the answer to 1d should have been a noun rather than a verb and that 17a needed to be in the past tense. No to worry, it obviously hasn’t bothered anyone else!

    I rather liked the idea of the secretary opening up a computer with a blade but my favourite was 18d.

    Thanks to Rufus and to MP – despite his choice of language.

    Speaking of the sea, news has just come through that both bridges across to the island are going to be closed at 3pm. Could be a lot of workers both sides of the Menai strait having to seek accommodation elsewhere for the night. The small boats that have been left out at anchor could well be under the pier by tomorrow morning!

    1. Oh dear. I hope the coming storm doesn’t prove too traumatic. Fingers crossed for you, Jane.

    2. Even here in London, Ophelia’s effect has caused the sky to darken as if an eclipse were about to happen and the streetlights have come on, even with it being mid-afternoon! The sky is an odd orangey-grey colour too, very weird indeed!

      1. Likewise the sky mid-afternoon in West Sussex was eerily eclipse-like and I needed full headlights to drive home. Whilst at a fancy hand carwash I had nervously watched the blackness develop and felt the temperature drop. Expect to find my beautifully washed car covered in Saharan sand tomorrow!
        Jane, your neck of the woods is evidently badly hit -take care and stay safe.

    3. We have had intensely coloured skies all day. The sun has been a weird colour with a halo. Most exciting

      1. The BBC say the coloured sky is the result of warm air from the south dragging up Saharan sand into the atmosphere.

        1. We’ve also got a strange smell of ‘burning’ in the air – perhaps it’s not a ‘smell’, just Saharan sand getting up our noses!

          1. Apparently it’s also debris from forest fires in Portugal and Spain as well as the Sahara dust

    4. Good luck to all. I remember that I was in Drefach, Wales, in October 1987 when the hurricane hit then. It felt weird, being in UK in a hurricane. At that time they had more damage in the SE, many trees down when I visited London a couple of days later.

      1. I was still in first school then, a little kitten being dragged up in SE England. I remember being scared by the howling wind at night and then unhappy that a favourite tree in the playground had been brought down.

        We also had the very dark sky for a while, followed by the very red sun when it started to clear.

        1. I’m reminded of the 1944 hurricane in Jamaica. We lived on top of a hill in a house that had three gables. We lost two of the gables when the eye passed over and the wind changed, my parents frantically trying to keep our belongings dry, and the only thing that bothered us children was when our large front tree was uprooted.

      2. Saint Sharon and I were lucky enough to be in London that night for. Bob Dylan / Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers concert at Wembley Arena. Very exciting night and driving into Central London the following morning was great fun looking at the trees that had fallen into houses or on cars. A very devastating storm.

      3. When we first moved to S. Florida in 1982 we thought the whole fuss about hurricane winds here was a bit much, having experienced gale force winds often in England, with no shutters, prep and rarely loss of power. Of course we got educated quickly with Hurricane Andrew, and can now only imagine hunkering down in the UK and hoping your roof and/or chimney stays put. Weather seems to have got more extreme since we left. Good luck to everyone there.

        1. Certainly our waters here around Florida, Cuba, Bahamas, etc. has warmed up considerably, and this is what fuels the Hurricanes … Oh! I forgot, global warming is all fake news!

      4. We used to have a yacht moored in the river at Thurrock on the Thames, after the 1987 storm we got a call saying it had broken it’s mooring and been washed up on the shore. When we got down there our boat was sitting on top of another boat that had been smashed to bits. Luckily our boat was so heavy and strong it didn’t have to much damage, we refloated it on the next tide and returned it to it’s mooring with an extra thick chain this time – very lucky!

  20. Considerably trickier than an average Monday puzzle I thought, but that’s certainly no bad thing.

    My two ticked clues were 12a and 8d.

    Many thanks to Rufus and the uninspired one. If anyone has time for another crossword today, my latest puzzle appears on the Independent’s website – it’s fairly solver-friendly, I promise!

    1. Would like to have a go, but don’t seem to be able to access it on my laptop, is it free like the Guardian??

      1. Hi Hoofit,

        Yes, it is, although the website isn’t always the easiest to access! You might need a little perseverance…

          1. A bit too tricky for me, I need to find the Independent equivalent of BD for some explanations!!

    2. I’m just about to give it a go – then we’ll see how friendly it is – will report back.

  21. Fairly straight forward I thought. One or two clues needed a bit of attention so certainly not the usual Monday breeze! 18d was my favourite and 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to the less than bubbling MP. Get well soon.

  22. Loved this, but then, when have I not loved a Rufus offering.
    I missed the why of 1d, missed the anagram, so thanks for the hint M’pops.
    Loved 13a, 24a, 28a, 2d, 15d, I think 31a is fave.
    Thanks to Rufus and M’pops, get well soon. I loved the clip at 7d, beautiful.

  23. I enjoyed this more than the usual Rufus. I particularly liked 12a, 28a (despite the topicality) and 26d. The only way I can think 19d cryptic is if one sees a rather blue surface meaning first.

    However, as is becoming a Kitty tradition on a Monday, I didn’t finish. Gave up with the intersecting 18d/31a remaining as the required bits didn’t come to me.

    Thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to the uninspired MP.

  24. Surprisingly tough for a Monday, with a few clues where I took the wrong fork in the road, 5d for example. Never heard of the phibs in 26d so will have to remember that in future. Thanks to Rufus for a challenging puzzle and to Miffypops for the definitely needed hints. Hope you feel less fed up now. Perhaps you are breathing in too much of the Saharan sand?

    1. I will survive Bizzy Lizzie. I slept a bit this afternoon and want to go back to bed now. That will lead to waking up at silly o clock and reading the downloaded paper and solving the Cryptic, the Quickie and the code word and remembering very little when I read MrKs blog.

  25. It’s a bit like Tripadvisor on this blog.
    All these good reviews and then a bad one comes along.
    Could copy and paste anyone of Brian’s famous rant.
    The ones I hated the most were 17a and 11d.
    But I’m a sucker for self 20a so I shall be here again next Monday….hopefully.
    Thanks to Rufus and to MP.

    1. “One man’s meat …” and so on. I love Rufus puzzles but I can’t get a handle on RayT and everyone rhapsodises over his puzzles.

  26. On the tricky side for Rufus I thought. Failed at the close on 31ac, where I had to cheat – one where if you didn’t know the quite obscure answer, you were well and truly stuck.

  27. Rather a gentle start to the week. 1*/3*, and favourite clue 28a. Thanks to Rufus and MP.

  28. Good evening everybody.

    Uncharacteristically challenging Monday puzzle that saw me fail to solve 31a, 18d and 26d. I deduced 26d but not knowing if it was acrually a word U didn’t write it in. Should have got the other two.

    Thought 15d and 16d were good clues. One or two clues seemed a bit clunky. Couldn’t see all of the logic for 28a.


  29. All over in a flash apart from 13a which I could not be bothered to persist with so resorted to the hint(thanks MP). I suppose I may have got it in the end but seemed a shame after an otherwise satisfying solve. Agree with J-L about 17a but not 11d which I felt was excellent. Other winners for me were 31a very clever, and 2, 5, and 18d. Thanks Rufus.

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